In the past 10 years, I've realized that our culture is rife with ideas that actually inhibit joy. Here are some of the things I'm most grateful to have unlearned:
inhibit [ɪn'hɪbɪt]vt. 抑制;禁止
1. Problems are bad.
You spent your school years solving arbitrary problems imposed by boring authority figures. You learned that problems suck. Real problems are wonderful, each carrying the seeds of its own solution. Job burnout? It's steering you toward your perfect career. An awful relationship? It's teaching you what love means. Confusing tax forms? They're suggesting you hire an accountant. Finding the solution to each problem is what gives life its gusto.
arbitrary ['ɑːbɪt(rə)rɪ]adj. [数] 任意的;武断的;专制的
suck [sʌk]vt. 吸吮;吸取 vi. 吸吮;糟糕;巴结 n. 吮吸
2. It's important to stay happy.
Solving a knotty problem can help us be happy, but we don't have to be happy to feel good. If that sounds crazy, try this: Focus on something that makes you miserable. Then think, "I must stay happy!" Stressful, isn't it? Now say, "It's okay to be as sad as I need to be." This kind of permission to feel as we feel—not continuous happiness—is the foundation of well-being.
knotty ['nɒtɪ]adj. 棘手的，难解决的
3. I'm irreparably damaged by my past.
irreparably [ɪ'rɛpərəbli] adv. 不能恢复地;不能挽回地
Painful events leave scars, true, but it turns out they're largely erasable. Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist who had a stroke that obliterated her memory, described the event as losing "37 years of emotional baggage." Now it appears we can all effect a similar shift, without having to endure a brain hemorrhage. The very thing you're doing at this moment—questioning habitual thoughts—is enough to begin off-loading old patterns. For example, take an issue that's been worrying you and think of three reasons that belief may be wrong. Your brain will begin to let it go.
痛苦的事情总会留下疤痕，的确是这样，但它们也会随着时间淡去。神经解剖学家Jill Bolte Taylor因中风失忆了，她把这称为失去了“37年的情感包袱。” 其实不需要中风，我们也能经历类似的情感转变。你现在正在做的事情——怀疑以往的想法——已经足够你把过去那些事都翻篇了。比如，找一件曾让你困扰的事情，再想想三个原因来证明这种想法也许是错的。你的大脑就会忘记这个困扰。